"She's your sister! Doesn't that mean anything to you?!" Kara screamed desperately, lashing from side to side, futilely trying to escape her bonds despite being as weak as a child.
Appealing to Lex's humanity was pointless. He had forsaken that long ago.
Being brave and defiant, refusing point blank to participate had merely been met with a delighted chuckle as Lex informed her that would mean both of their lives would be lost, and Kara would have to live with double the guilt.
Two for the price of one, Lex had cooed down the line, and Kara had to swallow the bile - partly as she imagined a world without her two key foundations and partly as the kryptonite continued to viciously seep its poison into her.
Kara had then lifted her chin, calling on the hope that had sustained her through every dark moment in her life, that gave her the power to carry on when so many others would have thrown in the towel, that defined her very being. She declared that Lex's plan was destined to fail. Kara had friends on the outside. Friends that would always come for her. Would never give up.
Her friends would save them. Just you wait and see.
Lex had fallen quiet at that. The crackle from the propped radio in the corner of Kara's glass cell that he had been communicating to her through, popping and hissing as she waited for Lex's reply.
The chuckle from earlier had been creepy, but it paled into comparison to the demented cackle that eventually boomed through the cell. His laughter was so loud and so uninhibited it managed to penetrate the thick glass walls so that it was audible to Alex and Lena, who both immediately paled upon hearing true insanity in its purest form.
When Lex finally managed to rein in his laughter, there was only a handful of minutes left on the red digital clock hanging above Kara.
" Them find you?" Lex spat decisively, "There's a reason why Alex was in charge and why you and everyone else would run to my dear sister at the first sign of trouble. You three are the leaders. Without you, the rest are mere lemmings ."
Kara felt the flicker of hope at her core flicker and lessen at that. At the truth of it.
"No one is coming, Supergirl. But don't worry…" Lex soothed like he would a baby, "You can still be the hero… to one of them."
The kryptonite chains Kara was wrapped in seemed to tighten. She was bound so tightly to the steel chair it took a herculean effort simply to breathe against the pressure of the restraints around her chest.
Her arms were bound to the arms of the chair; the only parts of her body Kara could move were her head and her fingers. Her left hand was gripping the arm of the chair so hard that the corners of the steel were cutting into her palm. Kara liked the pain that offered. It distracted her from the sheer torture of the glowing green that was burning into her skin and ripping up her insides.
Her right hand, however, was all tense fingers, high and extended to prevent even the smallest chance that they might brush either of the two red buttons positioned below them.
The left button was marked AD whilst the right LL, corresponding with the two women chained outside Kara's cell.
"Soo…." Lex teased the word, like a presenter would on a game show about to ask the million dollar question. "Who's it going to be?"
Kara bit her lip so hard, she felt blood drip down her chin, as her eyes darted helplessly between the two people she loved most in the whole world, the whole universe.
"The reliable sister?" A spotlight lit up Kara's sister, revealing the black eye, bruises and various wounds she had received as she fought so fiercely not to be taken, for Kara not to be taken. "The woman that gave you a home? Gave up her whole life to protect you? Who has been there for you since you stepped foot on this planet? Who has supported you at every point in your life, through the good and the bad?"
"Alex…" Kara whimpered, hating how right Lex’s description was because even now, even when it was all on Kara, the kryptonian was still looking at her sister to be saved. Alex always saved her. Now it was Kara’s turn but-
"Or the loving wife?" Lex asked jovially, but there was a stronger hint of hatred underneath his tone than there had been for Alex as the spotlight shifted to the raven haired woman. Lena looked bedraggled but not in as bad a state as Kara or Alex, but then again, she hadn't been taken in the field. She had been abducted from her home. Their home. Kara had kissed her sweetly before heading out to meet Alex to deal with the alien of the week. Lena had been about to go for a nap, encouraging Kara to hurry back for cuddles.
It was to be their second anniversary in three days.
"The lesser Luthor who turned her back on everything she knew and everyone who ever loved her… for you … The powerful CEO that you share a bed with, the only person smart enough to save you on countless occasions…"
Scared green eyes met Kara's for an instant only to be replaced by Lena's cold, detached gaze, Kara’s wife's mask slipping into place to hide her fear from Lex and to save Kara from the anguish of seeing how terrified she was.
"Who's it going to be, Supergirl? Who do you love more? Who can you not live without?"
Two minutes left.
The automated machine guns placed in front of Alex and Lena began to hum to life, moving robotically to line up their aim on their respective targets.
Kara had the power to deactivate one of them. If she didn't make a choice, both would fire when the buzzing clock above Kara hit zero.
"Not long left now, Supergirl… that rescue you're hoping for sure is cutting it close, hmm?"
Kara began to thrash helplessly in her chair, reminding Lex that his sister was in danger. That he must have loved her at some point and that should be worth something. Anything!
"Oh, I loved her alright. I loved her right up until the moment she said 'I do' to you. Right up until the moment she forsook her humanity to fuck a kryptonian. Now, she's nothing to me. Less than nothing. If it was my choice, she wouldn't be the one I saved… but it's not my choice is it, Supergirl?"
Kara sobbed as the clock ticked into the final minute. Alex and Lena were both trying to yell something to her, but Kara couldn't hear anything other than the painful beat of her breaking heart and Lex’s cruel voice echoing around her head. The kryptonite was dulling her senses, leaving her numb and deadened.
It didn't matter though.
She didn't need to hear what either of them were saying. She already knew. They were kind, selfless and loyal - it was why Kara adored them both so much.
Save Alex, not me.
Save Lena, not me.
"Please…" Kara gasped, "Kill me instead. Not them. Kill me."
"Oh, Supergirl…" Lex tutted like a teacher would at a small child who seemed incapable of learning their times tables, "don't you see? I am killing you. I am destroying the very heart of you."
Kara screamed. She screamed until her throat went raw. She screamed until Alex and Lena could no longer bear to look at her.
Come on, Supergirl, you're running out of time….
It was Krypton all over again.
She was going to lose everything.
She couldn't do it again.
A single finger dropped and pressed a button just as the sound of machine gun fire exploded around the room.
Kara's eyes remained resolutely shut until the echo of the last bullet fired receded into silence.
Carefully, Kara opened her eyes, knowing that she would never recover from what she was about to witness.
That this moment would be ingrained into mind for the rest of her life. From now until the day she died, whenever she closed her eyes this would be the image she would see.
Kara blinked once… twice… unable to fathom the sight before her.
Both of them were alive. Alex and Lena were staring back at her looking shaken but… alive. The machine guns had shot into the floor by both of their feet, missing their set targets by a metre and chipping into the ground.
A second later, the restraints holding Alex and Lena released, and they were both on their feet charging to the door of Kara's cell.
Alex was at Kara's side in an instant, Lena hovering outside the cell with arms wrapped protectively around herself, as Alex began aggressively undoing Kara's chains as she whispered soothing phrases to Kara.
"You're okay, you'll be out in a few seconds… just hang on…"
Kara nodded weakly even as she continued to cry. "Alex, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."
"Hey, none of that." Alex reprimanded tenderly, "This is Lex’s fault, no one else, okay?"
"Alex… I… I love you so much…" Kara whimpered as Alex finished freeing her left hand side. "So much…"
Alex’s brow furrowed, "Yeah, I know sis. I love you, too. Nearly free, last set-"
Alex’s voice cut out the instant she saw the two buttons, one depressed and the other resolutely untouched.
"Oh…" Alex murmured quietly, her tone hollow from shock.
"Alex…" Kara choked out, the pain from the kryptonite was nothing compared to this. Nothing compared to the blank gaze that her sister lifted to meet hers.
"It's okay, I get it. She's your wife, Kara." Alex reassured calmly, but she sounded so distant . "I get it."
"No, Alex, please-" Kara pleaded as Alex finished releasing her.
"I get it, Kara." Alex repeated firmly as Kara was finally freed.
Alex made to stand but Kara, with the little strength she had left, grabbed Alex's arm and pulled her close.
"She's pregnant, Alex." Kara confessed, wild blue eyes staring deeply into brown ones looking for a single sign that her relationship with her sister wasn't forever changed. "Lena’s pregnant."
Alex blinked once. Twice. She then turned and looked over her shoulder at her sister-in-law who was watching from outside the cell. Outside the cell filled with kryptonite.
Lena’s expression was distraught, and she was trembling with the desire to reach Kara whilst having to hold herself back. Her arms weren't wrapped protectively around herself, they were wrapped protectively around the lower part of her torso. Around her baby.
Brown eyes slowly moved back to blue.
The two sisters looked at each other for a long time.
Kara held her breath. This would be the moment. Kara had been saved from the sight of her sister riddled with bullets to instead endure this one. The one that determined the future of the relationship that had defined her life more than any other.
Alex nodded once to herself before she raised an imperious eyebrow at her little sister, ready to determine their future with her next words.
"You know, it's only fair that you name the kid after me after all this, right?" Alex asked before her entire face broke out into a wide grin.
Tears of sheer relief and gratitude fell from Kara’s eyes as she smiled in return, "That sounds more than fair. I love you, Alex."
"Yeah, I know." Alex assured, and Kara knew that she meant it.